Severe storms of all types from thunderstorms to tornadoes and hurricanes make people nervous because of the property damage they can cause. Homes and buildings are vulnerable to damage from the wind and rain and excessive rainfall can lead to flooding.
Indoor flooding is possible when a storm occurs as excessive rain may find its way inside through a vulnerability such as a roof leak or foundation crack, or cause flooding from a nearby body of water.
Regardless of the type of storm, indoor flooding is always a threat. This amount of water in your home can quickly cause serious damage as it spreads through porous building materials and furnishings, causing ceilings, walls, flooring, and other structural elements to warp and rot. Indoor flooding can quickly lead to structural damage and the affected areas are also at risk of mold growth. Homeowners should anticipate the possibility of indoor flooding before a storm occurs and take steps to help protect their homes from flooding.
Know Your Flood Zone
You will have a better idea of how to protect your home from flooding by understanding flood zones and knowing what type of flood zone you live in. FEMA has designated four different types of flood zones assigned to regions based on their general flood risk. You can see what flood zone your home is in using the FEMA Flood Map Service.
The following are the four main types of flood zones:
- Blue zones: These zones have a one percent annual risk of flooding and are likely to experience significant flooding once every 100 years. FEMA considers these zones high risk even though they are one percent annual chance zones.
- Orange zones: These zones have a 0.2 percent annual chance of flooding and are likely to experience annual flooding once every 500 years. The risk of flooding in these zones may be low, but homeowners should still take precautions to protect their property from potential flooding.
- Yellow zones: In these zones, the flood risk is undetermined. If you live in a yellow zone or are looking to buy a home in this zone, research the flood history of the specific area to better assess your risk. Once again, homeowners in these zones should still actively protect their homes from flooding.
- Blue with red stripes: These zones are regulatory floodways and often consist of a body of water and surrounding floodplain. These areas are generally kept clear for water from adjacent flood zones to drain, but homes are sometimes built in or near these zones. If your home is in or near this type of zone, you need to take every precaution possible to protect against flooding.
Once you determine what type of flood zone you are in, you will have a clearer idea of your risk and what you need to do to protect your home. Your flood zone will also affect flood insurance policies from the National Flood Insurance Program. The important thing to remember is that no matter what flood zone you live in, there is always a risk of flooding.
Protecting Your Home from Flooding
No matter what type of flood zone you live in, severe storms can strike anywhere, and indoor flooding is always a possibility. Being proactive in protecting your home from flooding can save you thousands of dollars in restoration and repairs.
You can help protect your home from flooding caused by storms by taking the following actions:
Assess the Drainage on Your Property
Proper drainage of the gutters and your yard helps prevent indoor flooding and water damage. Make sure to check the gutters on your home and observe how water drains on your property. The gutters should be in good repair and cleared of debris so that rainwater can move through the gutters and downspouts unimpeded. You should also make sure that the downspouts drain the water far enough away from your foundation.
To ensure that water drains properly around your home, check the slope of your yard, and look for areas of the property where pooling occurs. The ground should slope downward, away from your home to prevent water from pooling near your foundation. If your yard is not sloping away from the home or draining properly, you may need to work with a general contractor to fix this issue.
Raise Your Home
If your home is in a flood zone with a high risk of flooding, you may consider raising your home on stilts or piers. While raising your home may be an expensive project, it will raise the flood level of your home which could prevent thousands of dollars in flood damage. This is generally only done to homes in high-risk areas.
Install a Sump Pump
Sump pumps are generally installed in basements to collect excess water in a basin to prevent it from flooding your home and expel the water at a safe distance. They are very effective at preventing indoor flooding from heavy rain, but they need a power source to operate. It is wise to have a battery powered backup for your sump pump in case the power goes out during a storm.
Coat and Seal Foundation
Many cases of indoor flooding occur because of vulnerabilities in the foundation. Check your foundation, walls, windows, and doorways for cracks or leaks and seal them with coatings or sealants. This will prevent flood water from entering your home through the cracks.
Raise Electrical Outlets
It is important for electrical outlets, sockets, switches, and circuit breakers to be high enough that flood water from a typical flood will not reach it. When flood water reaches an outlet, this increases the risk of electrical fires and electrocution.
If the electrical outlets and switches in your home are too low, consider having them raised.
Protect Pipes with Check Valves
Pipes that direct water out of your home should be fitted with check valves that prevent water and sewage from backing up into your home. Make sure to install check valves that provide a good seal.
Keep Mulch Away from Siding
If you are mulching areas close to the home, make sure the mulch does not touch the siding. Wet mulch can rot the siding of your home which will cause leaks and lead to water damage. Leaving space between the mulch and siding will allow the siding to dry after it rains and avoid damage from wet mulch.
Professional Storm Damage Restoration
Taking the steps outlined above can help reduce the risk of Hutto water damage and flooding in your home when a storm occurs. However, Hutto water damage is not the only type of damage that a storm can cause. Severe storms often have strong winds that can damage the roof and siding and leave your home open or unstable.
If your home is heavily damaged after a storm, you need to call a professional for storm damage restoration. These professionals will stabilize and repair the structural damage as well as address Hutto water damage and flooding to return your home to its pre-storm condition.
About Luke Armstrong
Expert in emergency fire and Hutto water restoration services, fire cleanup and Hutto water damage cleanup, mold removal, as well as carpet and upholstery cleaning services. Contributor to several restoration and cleaning blogs.